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April 8, 2009

Inbox — April 8, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Go Big Blue!

I’d like to congratulate the University of Kentucky and the Big Blue Nation on the hiring of John Calipari as their new head basketball coach. While the Cat fans didn’t get everything they would have liked in these hard times, Pitino Lite wasn’t bad. Let the games begin.

Dale Rhoades, Cox’s Creek, Ky.

OxyCats

I was fully expecting my head to explode in a fit of populist rage when I heard how much UK was going to pay their new basketball coach, but instead I got an overwhelming urge to grab a pair of pliers, yank out most of my teeth, throw away my shoes, and see if I could sell enough OxyContin to buy me some of them season tickets or a seat on the UK Board of Regents, whichever one is cheaper. Is this a great state or what?

Vincent J. Callahan, Highlands

Douchebag Indeed

While I may not have agreed with Mr. McHugh’s original letter, the letter responding to it, I felt, was way out of line (LEO Weekly, April 1). I’ve volunteered for the Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice for two years, and I know personally what it is like to be called names and threatened because of my beliefs on this sensitive subject. For women who have had to make the very difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy, many are enraged by a lot of what anti-choice folks have to say.

Understandably so, I was horribly upset by McHugh’s last paragraph. To suggest that a woman who chooses to have an abortion is ignorant to the fact that she is ending her pregnancy and “deliberately killing an unborn human life” is ridiculous. She is aware of what she is doing while making the very serious and difficult decision. She is aware of the social repercussions when walking into a clinic while a crowd screams profanities at her. She is aware of the outcome of the procedure while recovering from the procedure itself.

As for calling abortion a holocaust, I cannot agree with that. I can, however, liken the legal persecution and accidental death that illegal abortion caused pre-Roe v. Wade to something out of Nazi Germany. While both sides of the “choice” argument are vastly different, we can come to some conclusion. We as a society need to recognize that abstinence-only sex education doesn’t work. If we make contraceptives and real sex education available to ALL youth, we will in fact have a result we can all be happy about — fewer abortions.

P.S.: Thanks for producing a quality publication that positively contributes to our community. I swear; if I have to see another Velocity page full of half-naked drunk chicks at Fourth Street Live, I will throw up.

Cecilia Adwell, Louisville

Overheard at VA Med Center

I was a member of a focus group that met at the VA Medical Center on March 17 to discuss potential locations for the new $700 million state-of-the-art VA Medical Center. Only $75 million is currently available for the site.

Before the meeting, a vet mentioned, “I’m told there will be no politics involved in this.” I replied, “That’s like believing you can eat soup with a fork.” The following are unedited notes jotted down during the discussion:

“There are about 40 people in the room. About half are male vets. It appears no members of the media are present. My hunch is none were invited.

“There are three choices on the screen, the first is downtown. The busy mayor mentioned he’d ‘heard from friends and citizens on this choice.’ After his brief comments he left the room. I’m disappointed, but understand the demands on his time.

“Not sure who made the decision on the three options or whether other choices could be advanced. It was mentioned 10 acres were needed.

“The well-dressed representatives from U of L made an impressive presentation that included a U of L Teaching Hospital.

“A casually dressed Vietnam vet questioned the teaching hospital thing since the money is being allowed for a new Veterans Medical Center, not one which will also treat non-vets.

“A WWII vet questioned if we need a new hospital and suggested updating the current one on land we already own. Was surprised to hear the Zorn Avenue property will be sold and bring a good price.”

When discussing the third choice: renovating existing site and build new healthcare center, I said: “Over a period of time, I asked 124 vets visiting the Medical Center, ‘Where would you like the new VA Medical center located?’ 119 said, ‘Here.’”

“Our federal representatives want our votes and support. They trust us to fight and die for our country. Shouldn’t they put our desires over their own and other VIPs, even though relocation would be good for the university and the city?

“My favorite bumper sticker: ‘If you can read this, thank a teacher. If it’s in English, thank a veteran.’”

Bob Moore, East End

Leftover Research

As someone who has been pro-life all his life, I believe life begins at the point of conception and that those conceived under the laws of the United States are protected by the Constitution and therefore are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now has come the day where science has made it possible to freeze an embryo outside the body of a human female. The embryo’s natural development into a fully functioning human being is then blocked by being frozen until the time arrives when it will eventually be transferred back to a woman in order to have a baby. The natural progression begins again and results in the birth of a child no different than any other human being.

The controversy surrounding stem cell research concerns the idea of using “leftover” embryos as a means of repairing or replacing damaged tissues or organs of those who suffer daily. It has been said there is no greater sacrifice than to lay down one’s life for the life of another. As much as I am pro-life, I am also pro-quality-of-life and see this as an opportunity for one life that may be discarded as “leftover” to serve to improve another’s life and hence allow that healed person to not only continue living but live their lives to also help life to continue. I know that if I was to be discarded as “leftover” rather than be given the chance to help my fellow human beings, then all would have been in vain. Many of us are called to perform extraordinary feats as we experience this existence called the human race. I can think of no greater feat than to go from being a “leftover” to someone who was able to lighten the burden of another person and perhaps extend their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Joe Bialek, Cleveland, Ohio